4 April: St. Isidore of Seville, Bishop and Doctor (to which a Prayer is added)

Today is the feast of St. Isidore of Seville, Bishop and Doctor (+4 April 636). He is not to be confused with St. Isidore the Farmer. St. Isidore defended the faith against the Arian heresy, which was still around. It is amazing how tenacious heresy can be.

Some years ago there was much chat about having St. Isidore proposed as the patron saint of the internet. (NB: He is NOT, however, offically named such. Keep that in mind.) I was asked to write a prayer people could recite before using the internet. It seemed to me a good idea.

I wrote the prayer in Latin and submitted it, with a translation into English, to a bishop who gave it his approval.

This prayer is all over the same internet now (both with and without attribution!).

The experience of stumbling upon the prayer at various pages and sites, prompted me to revisit this “internet prayer”, to seek some additional language translations, and to post them all online in one place.

You will want to know why some people proposed St. Isidore for this role.

I think many proposed St. Isidore of Seville because his most notable work, the Etymologiae, a massive encyclopedic work of 448 chapters in 20 volumes indexing just about everything people thought it was important to know at the time, was rather like a primitive database. You can, of course, pray to any saint in this matter, and nothing official about any patron for the internet has been handed down from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (which is the competent dicastery of the Holy See in those matters). Bottom line: people wanted a prayer for St. Isidore, and I wrote one. You should feel free to change the name to whatever saint you prefer. Others have proposed St. Maximilian Kolbe (+1941), St. Bernadine of Siena (+1444), St. Rita of Cascia (+1457), and the Archangel Gabriel (still around).

I am happy for people to use this prayer. I ask that you give attribution.

Also, if you can offer a translation into a language missing from those below, please send it. To email me, click HERE.

I would also like a video of the prayer in ASL, American Sign Language.

To see all the versions of the prayer which are now available, go HERE

Meanwhile, here is the English and one other as a tease:

A prayer before logging onto the internet:

Almighty and eternal God, who created us in Thine image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Through Christ our Lord.   Amen.

KLINGON (aka Klingonese)

TlhobtaHghach qaSpa’ poSmoH’tah Internet’li

HoSghaj je reH joH’a, ‘lv chenmoHta’ ma’Daq lij voqtaHghach je maH ja’ta nej Hoch QaQ, teH, je ‘lH, Daq lij neH puqloD, ma’joH, J’H’esus K’risti, ms tlhob SoH, vegh le’ghot J’Isador’e, lalDan vumwI’neS je O’ghojmoH’neS, qaStaHvIS ma’ylt vegh Internet’li, ma’tI yotlh ma’ghopDu’ je minDu’ Daq vetlh nuq Chen Quch SoH je pop tlhej muSHa’ tlq SlQ Hoch chaH qa’neS ma’ghom. Sum K’risti ma’joH.

Internet Prayer in Klingon

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Phil_NL says:


    I reckon it would be too cheaky to suggest a podcast of the version in Klingon?

    (though I doubt that one would make the rounds without attribution!)

  2. Phil_NL says: Klingon isn’t my strongest language. It needs someone who is more familiar with the pronunciation.

  3. Phil_NL says:

    meh, meant to write ‘cheeky’, obviously. Is there also a patron saint for typos, misspellings and bad grammar?

  4. APX says:

    Have you ever considered those customized prayer cards you can order off the internet? I find a lot of wonderful prayers on the Internet, but it’s rather difficult to keep the Internet in my daily missal. You could sell them and people could distribute them to young people as gifts, etc.

  5. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Father, Father! I just found this hieroglyphic version in ancient Egyptian

    The image of a little bird on a leaf in the column second to the right is the Middle Kingdom pictogram for ‘electronic social communication’. The boat, pole and boatman underneath it represent ‘journey’.
    The stork in the centre means ‘numberless offspring’ (=’all those souls’). The wok-shaped cooking pot stands for ‘patience’. And there are various lock-picking devices represented, standing for ‘key’ or ‘door’ (ie ‘Is a Door’).

    It’s remarkably prescient adumbration.

  6. ejcmartin says:

    St. Isidore is also one of three saints pictured on the crest of the Spanish football club FC Sevilla.

  7. Kerry says:

    Father Z, “Ka plah!”

  8. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The Etymologiae isn’t just facts (or presumed-fact factoids, or factoids he didn’t believe but you need to know to understand Latin and Greek and Hebrew and Christian culture); it’s a sort of popularization of a lot of Christian and Biblical concepts, too.

    Which is why it is so ironic that C.S. Lewis didn’t really like Etymologiae. I kept trying to remember why I had certain ideas about it before I read it, and I finally found the passage in The Discarded Image. Man, I laughed and laughed. Nothing like two guys in the same business, and one disagreeing with the other’s approach in the exact same kind of book!

  9. Priam1184 says:

    “St. Isidore defended the faith against the Arian heresy, which was still around. It is amazing how tenacious heresy can be.”

    Arianism is still very much around Father; it’s just that nobody calls it by that name anymore. In it’s essential acknowledgement of Jesus Christ as somebody worthy of veneration but not divine, Arianism survives institutionally in Islam. And make no mistake: Islam was born out of Arianism and it is merely a form of Arianism that was altered somewhat to suit the ears of the pagan Arabs and given a long term life by the rambling of an angel who called himself Gabriel in the Qur’an.

    Arianism is also alive and well wherever and whenever the divinity of Christ is denied or questioned or laughed at (as it is so much in the formerly Christian world) by who people who then go on to say the He was a great man and taught great things, but you can’t really believe that He is God now can you? No Father it never went away, because to deny the divinity of the God-man is the work of mankind’s enemy and that one is still around.

  10. Rachel K says:

    I have always prayed to St Clare for Internet issues as I thought she is patron of media, is that patronage correct?
    I recall seeing a recommendation to keep a small holy image next to or on the computer, to guard our purity. I have a tiny icon of Jesus and Our Lady by the house computer and remind the children that it is there because the web can be harmful as well as beneficial. They are young so I don’t go into detail.

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